Disclaimer: For the umpteenth time, they're not mine! I just gain gratification from placing them in impossible situations and watching them sweat. Oh, and do other things too. ^_^

Pairings: 2x5, 2x3, 4x3, 4x5, 1x2
Rating: NC-17
Category: AU
Warnings: OOCness, lemon, language, slightly bloody.

Note: I'm still having fun, so I'm still writing. Hopefully, the fun won't run out before the fic does. I've got a pretty good idea where this is going, but who knows. My muses are fickle.

Dance with the Demons: Look Without Your Eyes
Part Three
by Blue Soaring

"That's heavy, Wuffie. Real heavy," Duo said, looking at Wufei's serious face.

Wufei said nothing, weighing his options silently in his head.

"I can see the wheels turning in your head, Wu. Whatever it is you're plotting, it won't work."

"Why the fuck not?"

Duo blinked. That was blunt. "Dammit, Wu, you're starting to act like me."

Wufei shrugged his shoulders. "It's a shame you're not starting to act like me. We'd be fucking like rabbits right now."

The violet-eyed man erupted into laughter. Wufei took advantage of his laughing fit to slide his hand back into Duo's boxers, disappointed that the other's erection had softened. He wrapped his hand around Duo's cock, teasing it back to fullness. Duo's laughter died as he felt Wufei's hand touch him, turning into a low groan.

"Stop it, Wufei. You could jerk me off all night, but I still won't fuck you," Duo grated out, fighting off the sensations that Wufei's hand caused.

"Then I'll watch you come, over and over again, all night," he paused, watching Duo's face cloud with pleasure. "What if I went down on you, Duo? What if I showed you what it would be like to be inside me, surrounded by tight heat? Could you stop yourself from pounding into me then?"

Duo's mind swam, his erection aching. Wufei's words ignited a fire in his brain, one that swiftly traveled down to his groin. He drew in a shuddering breath. "No. I can't. I can't, Wu."

"Why, Duo? You can't hurt me, not like that."

"I'm not worried about hurting you, not really. According to, you're big on pain, remember?" A weak grin spread across his face.

"So, why not?"

Duo struggled, trying to explain something he didn't really understand. "I don't know you. I mean, look at the whole situation. What am I doing with a 'pet' that some idiot guy gave me? You're a were, Wufei, and you do what he tells you. I just don't . . . ."

"It's because I'm a were that you won't, isn't it?"

Duo's breath hitched, then he exhaled slowly. "Yeah, I guess it is, maybe a little. I don't even know what kind of were you are."

"I see." Wufei slowly stood, backing away from Duo.

"Jesus, Wu, I didn't mean . . . oh, fuck."

"No, no. You made your point. I'm not human, Duo. Not like you. You call yourself Death, you kill, but you're not a monster. I am."

"You're not a goddamn monster. You're a shape-shifter. That's all you do, change your shape. You're still you, right?"

Wufei smiled sadly. "I'm still me. But I think it's me you have the problem with." He sank to the floor, bending his legs and wrapping his arms around them, resting his cheek on his knees.

Duo wrestled with his own reluctance. Wufei was right, on all accounts. Duo wanted him, and wanted him badly. Wanted him so bad he actually could taste it. He watched Wufei, trying to remember all he knew about shifters.

"Change for me."

Startled, Wufei blinked at him, uncomprehending. "What?"

"Change into whatever animal it is you are. Don't tell me, show me. I want to see it."

Wufei regarded the braided man curiously. "Are you sure?"

"If you change now, how soon can you change back?"

"Right after. I may be a bit tired, though," he paused, considering. "You're not into bestiality, are you?"

"Uh, not quite. I want to see you change, that's all. Will you?"

Wufei shifted, kneeling on the floor and sitting back on his feet. He seemed uncertain, but nodded. "Alright. You're sure about this?"

Duo nodded, trying to slow his heart rate. The only time he'd ever been around a were in animal form was when he was trying to kill it. He kept reminding himself that this was Wufei, not a renegade looking for a late night snack.

Wufei watched Duo for a moment longer. Once he was sure Duo was certain, he began to change. To Duo, it looked as if there was a heat wave radiating from Wufei, blurring his vision. The air around him shimmered as if it were heated, but the heat in the room was being drawn into the glow, not being giving off by it. Power prickled at the edges of Duo's mind. Wufei's form was outlined in a stark white, then it began to change, shortening here and elongating there. Abruptly, the white glow shifted to a deep black, and a gush of warm air exploded along Duo's skin. He blinked, trying to clear tears from his eyes. As he focused on the black shadow, it shifted and then stilled.

Wufei was gone, the only evidence of him being there was the discarded black clothing that lay next to the animal. Duo focused on what he assumed was Wufei, staring hard at the large black panther that sat in his place. He was slightly smaller then the one he had seen at Heero's, and his eyes were lost in the deep black fur. Looking closer at the cat's eyes, Duo realized that they were completely black. They were Wufei's eyes.

Finding his throat dry, Duo swallowed. "Wufei?"

The panther nodded.

"Christ, that's weird. You can't talk like that, can you?"

The big cat actually managed to give Duo a withering look.

"Okay, okay, dumb question. Can I come over?" Not expecting an answer, and not getting one, Duo stood on somewhat shaky legs and walked slowly over to kneel down next to Wufei. The cat was larger up close, perhaps four feet tall sitting on its haunches, maybe a little bigger. Definitely larger than normal, Duo decided, but still smaller than the other. "Hey, great idea, just growl at me a little if I piss you off; don't bite me. I'd like to keep my arms."

Wufei nodded again, raising a large paw and setting it on Duo's lap.

A little nervous, Duo brought his hand up and scratched Wufei's ear. His eyes narrowing to little slits, Wufei let out a little purring sound.

Duo laughed. "I really didn't think of panthers as the purring type . . . . I keep thinking of hisses and growls."

Wufei turned his head and flicked his pink tongue out, licking Duo's wrist. Duo's eyes widened slightly.

"You did that before, back at Devil's Bliss." Growing more confident, Duo moved his hand down to scratch under Wufei's chin, tentatively at first, waiting to see if it was alright.

Looking at Wufei's eyes, Duo decided it was safe. He brought both hands up and ran one lightly over Wufei's head, pleased when the panther nuzzled his hand.

"You're so soft. Warm, too." Duo continued running his hands over the cat, amazed at the soft texture of his fur. He ran his hand down Wufei's front leg, resting it over the paw. "You're beautiful, Wu." Satisfied, Duo grew impatient. "Change back now, please?Ē

The panther gazed at Duo silently, then pressed his head against Duo's. This time there was a quick inrush of air, the same blinding light, then the gush of warm air, much faster then when he had changed first. Duo blinked; the touch of Wufei's power was so much more potent this close, it left Duo panting, his body tingling with something like pleasure.

When his vision cleared, he saw Wufei, naked, and with his hand where Duo had held the panther's paw. He looked nervous, as if he expected Duo to get up and run screaming out of the apartment.

"Jesus, Wu. I think I almost came in my pants when you changed back. Is it always like that?"

"I don't know, I don't think many of us have changed in front of a humanbefore."

"Shit. You slowed it down when you first changed, didn't you? It only took you a few seconds to change back."

Wufei nodded. "I didn't want to scare you."

"Well, I don't scare that easy, but thanks for the sentiment."

"Did you, ah, see what you wanted?"

"I'm getting an eye full now, aren't I?" He gestured at Wufei's nakedness.

Unconcerned with his state of undress, Wufei tried to take his hand back, but Duo wouldn't let go. "You know what I mean."

"Yeah, I know. I saw your eyes." Slowly, Duo raised Wufei's hand to his face, then carefully licked the inside of other manís wrist.

Wufei gaped at him, paralyzed.

"It was you. They were your eyes. I was right, you just change shape, and you're still the same person. Not a monster."

Wufei released the breath he didn't know he was holding.

"You said you can smell lust, right? I assume the same goes for fear, and anger?"

"The stronger the emotion, the easier it is."

"And what do you smell now?"

Wufei glanced meaningfully at the noticeable bulge in Duo's unbuttoned pants. "I think you want me."

"I think you're right. Maybe we should . . . ." Duo started to say, glancing towards the bathroom, but Wufei cut him off.

"No, no showers. I like the way you smell right now."

Duo made a wry face. "I don't know if that was a compliment or not."

"Trust me, it's a good thing. You smell like man, musky. Like Duo. Your own scent. It's . . . arousing." Wufei grinned, sliding his hand back inside Duoís pants.

Duo growled low in his throat, arcing into Wufei's hand. The Chinese man became instantly hard, amazed at how Duo responded to his touch.

"Wu . . . Wufei. Hold up . . . ." Duo managed to ground out through the haze that had fogged his brain. "I'm the dominant one here."

"Oh, have we already established that?"

"We're about too," Duo said, removing Wufei's hand. He reached out and pushed Wufei back onto the carpet, spreading the other manís legs. A small tremor of anticipation ran through Wufei's body as he watched Duo move between his legs. Quickly, Duo yanked his shirt off, then slipped out of his pants and boxers. His mind was fuzzy, all he could think of was pounding into Wufei until the black-haired man screamed and writhed beneath him.

Duo fought to control himself, eyes locked on the body spread before him. Wufei's golden skin was flushed, his own eyes heavy-lidded as he waited for Duo to move. Not really sure of himself, Duo leaned over Wufei, running his hand up his thigh, then dipping his head to capture Wufeiís mouth in a savage kiss. Wufei pressed hard against Duo, bruising both their lips with the force.

The braided man pulled back, bringing his fingers up to Wufei's mouth. Wufei took them deep, running his tongue over them, then biting on the tips as Duo drew them out. Slowly, he pushed one finger past the tight ring of muscle of Wufei's ass, stretching him. He dipped his head, closing his mouth over Wufei's nipple, nipping at it, then running his tongue around it. Duo heard Wufei whimper, the sound trailing off into a mewling that was so much like a cat. It didn't bother Duo, if anything, it fueled his desire. He wanted to make Wufei do much more than just whimper.

"Duo . . . what are you doing, Duo?" Wufei gasped. "Stop teasing, just do me!"

Duo slid two more fingers inside the panting man, leaving the tortured buds alone. "I don't want to hurt you, not the first time."

"You can't hurt me. I'm a shifter, remember?"

He stopped moving his fingers, still uncertain.

"Dammit, Duo. I've been taken before, rougher than you could ever be. Most times with nothing to make it easy." Wufei glanced down at Duo's engorged member. "You're still wet from when I jerked you off, so screw the damn prep." He looked back to Duo's face, then spoke in a low voice. "Just fuck me, you can experiment later. I want you in me now."

Duo wrestled with the idea a little more, then gave in. He withdrew his fingers and positioned himself at Wufei's entrance. "You sure?"

"I said fuck me, Duo. Now."

"Gladly," he grunted, pushing in slowly, drawing out the pleasure for both of them. He slid in past the ring of muscle, feeling Wufei's tight heat swallow him. Duo fought for control; Wufei was so tight around him, lack of prep making him clutch at Duo as his body trembled.

"Christ." Duo's breathing was heavy, labored, as he was fully seated inside Wufei's body.

"Move, Duo. Or do I get to ride you?" Wufei's smile was impish. He flexed his muscles, alternately clenching and unclenching them around Duo's cock. He was rewarded with a long groan from the other man.

"Fuck, do that again." Duo panted. "How the hell can you do that?"

Wufei just grinned at him, and repeated what he had done.

Duo's eyes glazed, then, with a grunt, he pulled back, nearly withdrawing completely. The friction was mind-numbing; waves of pleasure coursed through him. He plunged back in, wrenching a moan from Wufei. Duo drove himself harder into his writhing body, and Wufei locked his legs around him, raising his hips to meet Duo's thrusts. The change in angle made Duo hit the small bundle of nerves inside Wufei, causing the black-haired man to tense, throwing his head back as he cried out. Amazed, Duo pulled back, and tried to hit the spot again, watching Wufei's face.

"Duo . . . there. Gods, yes . . . !" Wufei's mouth opened wide, gasping for air as Duo struck his prostate again. "Harder, Duo. Fuck me harder!"

Duo's mind burned. He pounded harder into Wufei's giving body, making him cry out in random, unintelligible sounds. Moving faster, Duo held back his own release, focused on driving Wufei over the edge. The black-haired manís hands clenched at the carpet, white-knuckled. The mewling sounds Wufei was making trailed off into a keening wail, his entire body quivering from the shocking pleasure burning through him.

Through his lust, Duo heard Wufei screaming at him: fuck me harder, faster. It felt so good, being buried to the hilt in Wufei's warm body, pounding into him, hearing him scream his pleasure. Determined to drive Wufei over the edge, Duo grasped the black-haired manís pulsing cock in his hand, stroking him in time with his thrusts, driving as deep as Wufei's body would let him.

"Gods, Duo . . .!" Wufei cried out, arching into Duo's hand. His eyes clenched shut, his body wracked with tremors as he came violently, spreading his release over himself and Duo. A hot rush of air exploded around Duo, accompanied by the body-numbing flash of power as Wufei came. The power wrapped itself around Duo, searing his mind and burning through him, leaving hot trails in its wake. At the same time, Duo felt Wufei's muscles clamp down on him; he managed one last deep thrust until his own orgasm ripped through him, his seed pouring into Wufei. Spent, he collapsed on top of the dancer, still buried inside him as the power waned.

A few minutes later, after the last tendrils of pleasure abated, Duo got enough of his breath back to speak. "Goddamn it, Wuffie. What the hell did you do?"

"I should think that would be obvious, Duo. I just fucked you."

Duo stifled his laugh, propping himself up on his hands above Wufei. "Don't be cute. I felt your power."

Wufei gazed up at Duo, looking for all the world like a sated cat. "It was good, wasn't it?"

Duo grinned down at him. "Sweet fuck, yes. But why?"

Unsure, he shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. Maybe because I just changed. I've never been done by a human before."

"You've GOT to be kidding."

"No, only others like me. But when you were inside me, I just . . . ." Wufei grinned at him. "You fuck good, Duo."


Wufei let his eyes droop, lowering his voice. "Really, Duo. Better than a were. Better than anything. I want you again." His voice grew husky. "Fuck me again, Duo. I want you moving in me again, pounding into me." He felt Duo's cock twitch inside him, growing harder. Wufei moaned softly. "I know you want to. You're hard."

Duo's body grew warm again, felt his cock swell to fullness, still inside Wufei.

Wufei ran his hands over Duo's chest, pinching one of his nipples between his fingers, earning a hiss from Duo. "We're already in a mess. Why waste the opportunity?"

Duo pulled back, then lightly thrust into him again, his cock throbbing. His come made Wufei slick, and when he plunged deep, some of it was forced out, sliding over Wufei's ass. Duo groaned, catching it with his fingers.

Watching with heavy-lidded eyes, Wufei felt blood rush to his groin. He caught the predatory grin on Duo's face right before the longhaired man wrapped his hand around Wufei's engorged member.

"Unnhh . . . Duo," Wufei panted, "please . . . ."

Ignoring him, Duo lazily stroked Wufei, pleased with the tiny sounds he was making as he thrust up into his hand.

"What? Please what, Wu?"

Desperate, Wufei pulled away from Duo, then pushed himself back onto his hard cock; having Duo buried inside him but not moving was enough to drive Wufei mad. Duo's hand wavered as he felt Wufei slide over him, and his breath caught in his throat.

"Do me . . . again. Fuck me again, Duo," Wufei panted.

Pleased, Duo took control, plunging deep into him. "This? You want this?" He thrust again, harder this time.

"Yes . . . gods, yes. Hard . . . and fast, Duo." Wufei's legs locked around Duo again with surprising strength. ďMore!Ē

Duo forgot control, forgot everything but driving himself deep into Wufei, pounding into him as hard as he could. Adrenaline flowed though his veins, lending him the energy. He rammed against Wufei's sweet spot, thrusting deeper when he heard Wufei cry out in pleasure.

Orgasm hit them both quickly, ripping through them. Accompanying it was that same rush of power, blinding in its intensity. It washed over Duo, increasing the sensations coursing through him, stealing his breath. Duo buried his face in Wufei's neck as they rode out the waves of pleasure.

His body still quaking, Duo pulled back a little, violet eyes staring down at Wufei. "That . . . holy shit. The power . . . it's so intense."

Wufei ran his hands through his sweat dampened hair, brushing wisps of it out of his face. "I didn't do it on purpose. When I came, it just . . . ." he trailed off, shrugging his shoulders.

"If you do that every time, I might never stop screwing you."

His eyes lit up. "Really now . . . isn't that interesting," Wufei said, grinning.

"Whoa, there, down boy," Duo said, returning Wufei's grin. "You'll kill me, and then what good would I be to you?"

"Point noted."

Duo snickered, levering himself up. He dipped his head, closing his eyes, catching Wufei's mouth in a deep kiss, finding the otherís mouth open and waiting. He plunged his tongue inside, tangling his tongue with Wufei's. Wufei drew Duo's tongue deep, biting on it. Duoís eyes flew open, and he made a little sound of surprise.

Wufei pulled back, the impish smile back on his face.

"What's this? Sadistic tendencies in my little masochistic pet?"

"Damn right."

Duo just shook his head, grinning. He felt, well, wonderful. Tingles still ran almost absently through his body from the rush of Wufei's power, and his muscles were relaxed, languid.

"Do you feel as good as I do right now?" Duo asked lightly.

"All tingly and relaxed at the same time? Yeah. Iíve never felt that before, never at the same time. Ever."

"So I guess I'm really good."

Wufei nodded.

"I think Iíve worn you out," Duo said, enjoying himself immensely.

"Maybe just a little, but I'll recover quickly. I've got an advantage, remember."

"Ah. Momentary lapse. My brain is still fogged."

"Perhaps," Wufei agreed.

Duo looked Wufei over, then himself. "I'd say we're due for a shower. Coming with me?"

Wufei nodded his agreement. "Conserve water, shower together. And to think, this morning, you were flustered that I was in the same bed with you."

"Imagine that." Duo picked himself up slowly.

Wufei purred as he felt Duo's cock slide gradually out of him. He stretched languorously, sighing in contentment.

"Excuse me, but did you just purr?"

Wufei had the decency to look embarrassed as he rose to his feet after Duo. He walked passed the longhaired man, who gazed lustily at the slender figure. Duo's eyes dropped, looking at the come trailing down the inside of Wufei's thigh. A stirring started in his stomach, running swiftly to his groin. With a growl, Duo started after his lover.

The phone rang as Duo crossed the living room. He ignored it, entering the bedroom as his answering machine clicked on.

"Duo. Pick up the phone." Quatre's voice flowed through the telephone line. "Stop fucking Wufei and pick up the phone, damn it."

Duo backpedaled, poking his head around the corner curiously.

"Forget it, no time. We have a situation. Meet me at Devil's Bliss, same place you met with the Erus. Knock on the left hand door, same as before. Now, Duo." The machine clicked off.

Swearing, Duo stalked into the bathroom.

"Hurry up, Wufei. We've got to go."

"Quatre wants us at Devil's Bliss," Wufei said from the shower.

"How'd you know?" Duo asked, crawling in with him, quickly scrubbing down.

Wufei rolled his eyes. "I've got extremely good hearing." He took the washcloth from Duo and washed his owner's back.

"Right. Erm, what are you doing?"

"Washing your back."

"Yeah, I noticed. Why?"

"I'm stealing the chance to cop a feel."

"Uh huh." Duo hunched his shoulders as Wufei started working on his ass. "We haven't got time to romp in the shower, Wuffie."

"I know, but how can I miss the chance to touch my master?"


"You claimed me, Duo. I'm yours now."

Duo snorted, taking the cloth from Wufei and swiftly returned the favor. "Even if Heero says you're not?"

"Mmmmmm . . . what?" Wufei's eyelashes fluttered. "Well, that really remains to be seen. I still think you might be able to face him and live."

"Great vote of confidence, Wu." Duo rinsed the last bit of suds from his body and shut off the water. "Come on, find some clothes."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Ten minutes later, Duo and Wufei were walking down the dark staircase to the room where they had waited for the Erus' summons. Duo was dressed in his usual black pants and shirt, selecting sturdy black boots for footwear. He'd slipped on a shoulder holster with his Glock .45 in it, hauling on a jacket to conceal it.

Wufei had looked pointedly at the gun when he slipped it in the holster. "What's that for?" He was sitting on the bed at the time in a loose pair of black linen pants and a black, form fitting fishnet shirt. He'd brushed his hair back into a small ponytail and added a silver chain that dangled half way down his chest. Soft leather boots topped off his outfit. Duo had no idea what he was getting dressed up for.

"Just in case," Duo had replied, winking as he slid the gun home. He slipped a switchblade into his boot, in the special hidden pocket he had requested. Two knives went into spring-loaded sheaths on each of his arms. The springs were for time, no need to draw the knife, just a quick flick of his wrist would send them hilt-first into his hand. Wufei had wondered why Duo was arming himself to the teeth.

Hilde had met them at the door near the stage. She was wearing the same outfit she had last night, apparently it was the bar's uniform. Her hair was a deep shade of purple and it hung loose around her face.

They passed through the entrance room, it was empty. The hallway was still as cold as Duo remembered; he shivered and goosebumps rose on his arms. Wufei walked close beside him, one step behind. Hilde stopped in front of the door at the end of the hallway, motioning for Duo to go ahead. He looked back at Wufei, who just shrugged his shoulders.

Duo swung the door wide, pushing it back far enough so it banged against the wall. Everyone in the room stopped and stared at the newcomers as they walked into the room. Duo and Wufei stood close to the door, but Hilde walked passed them and settled into a vacant chair.

The room was dim, a fire roaring in the pit as the only light besides the low overhead swivel lights. Glancing around, Duo noticed Heero sitting in the same chair as before, this time flanked by two people, a tall, dark blonde man on the left and a smaller woman on the right, her waist-length hair shining a strange golden brown in the wavering light. Quatre sat on the long couch to the Erus' right, a tall brown haired man curled on his chest. The blonde had one arm wrapped protectively around him. The brunette's hair fell forward over his face, hiding one side almost completely from view, the manís single visible eye glinted a startlingly bright green in the firelight.

Across from Quatre and the unidentified brunette, Zechs sat on the other crescent shaped couch comfortably between two women that Duo hadn't seen before, one with long blonde hair and the other a brunette with her hair tied back into a neat bun. Zechs smiled at the newcomers, nodding his head in greeting. The women merely flicked their eyes over them briefly.

"Wonderful. You're having a party and didn't let us know. I'm underdressed." Duo said, taking in the crowd.

The woman who stood next to Heero raised an eyebrow. "What is this one doing here?"

"Is it your habit to question the Erus' choice, Relena?" Quatre spoke quietly.

The woman identified as Relena barely disguised a sneer. "No, of course not. But he isnít one of us."

The blonde seated next to Zechs turned to Duo. "Relena is just being cautious, Duo. Please, close the door and weíll begin."

Wufei closed the door quietly, shutting out what light the hall offered.

"Uh huh. Could we start by explaining why you decided to invite me to your little get together?" Duo asked, trying to keep his annoyance out of his voice.

"You're just peeved that we disturbed your games with Wufei," Hilde snickered from her chair.

"Now, just a goddamn minute . . . ." Duo began.

"Enough," Heero said, and the conversation ceased abruptly. "Sit, Duo." He gestured to the last vacant chair next to Hilde's.

Duo bristled at being given orders, but he sank into the plush black chair. Wufei followed him and curled comfortably at his feet, lying his cheek against Duo's thigh. Duo opened his mouth to say something, then decided against it. Let them know Wufei was his.

Relena's eyes narrowed, but she said nothing. The rest of the gathered people sat waiting for the Erus to begin. Instead, the dark blonde on his left spoke.

"Well, that appears to be everyone, thank you for coming Duo," he said companionably. "To begin, let me introduce you. You already know Quatre, and the man trying to crawl into his skin is Trowa." He nodded in Quatre's direction. The blonde smiled and Trowa inclined his head slightly. "Relena is standing to the Erus' right, followed by Dorothy, Zechs and Une." Each nodded as they were named. "And, of course, the lovely Hilde. I am called Treize." He smiled brightly.

"Delighted, I'm sure," Duo said sourly.

Treize was unruffled, his smile simply grew brighter.

"If you're done, Treize . . . ?" Heero asked softly.

"Of course, Erus," he said, bowing.

Heero's eyes flickered over the assembly. "Duo Maxwell is here by my invitation, so he is to be left unmolested. The same applies to his pet."

"To Wufei," Duo corrected, wondering exactly what he meant by 'molested'.

A smile tugged at the corners of Heero's mouth. "To Wufei," he conceded.

"Now," Duo said, getting straight to the point, "what's this 'situation' you have?"

Next to Heero, Relena bristled. "Listen, human, I have no idea what the Erus is thinking, bringing you here . . . ."

"Relena," Quatre said, smiling, "hush."

She looked ready to chew nails, but she hushed.

"Be nice to Death . . . ." Quatre whispered.

Heero looked unconcerned. "The situation is this: I have requested that you cease murdering creatures ĖĒ

"We've been over this already," Duo cut him off.

The Erus held up his hand. "But. New information has come to my attention. In light of recent developments, I have a different request."

"Oh yeah? What's that?"

A slow smile actually spread over Heero's almost expressionless face. "I wish to enlist your aid."

The rest of the gathering seemed surprised by this, and Relena sucked in her breath with a hiss. Only Quatre seemed unconcerned.

"You can't be serious, Erus," Dorothy said. "What can this human do?"

Une echoed her opinion. "This boy can be of no use to us. Send him away, or kill him."

Duo cocked an eyebrow. "Seems like your underlings are pissed, Heero."

"Then it should do them well to remember that they are underlings." His voice was cold, dispassionate.

Dorothy and Une lowered their heads by way of apology.

"So, what is it exactly you want me to do?" Duo asked.

"That is unimportant right now. I simply want to know if you will help."

"Right. Well, I can't really offer help if I don't know what I'm getting in to, now can I?"

Heero considered this, then his rose silently. "As you are well aware, monster activity has increased tremendously in the last few decades. More importantly, in the last few years, human deaths by supernatural means have been on a steady increase, especially in the last fifteen years and more noticeably in the last five." He spoke quickly, confidently as he circled the fire. "This has special interest for myself, and many others. It jeopardizes our existence. If humans were to rise in force against us, we would be hard pressed for survival." He turned steely-blue eyes on Duo. "In order to protect ourselves, we must put a stop to these deaths."

Duo processed the information. "You think someone is deliberately killing humans in the hope of inciting a full fledged war against monsters with the goal of annihilating them."

"Exactly." Heero was pleased with Duo's quick mind.

"But all causes of death are pegged as genuine monster killings. I've eliminated some of the killers myself. Which means, the thing behind the killings has the ability to control the little beasties."

Again, Heero nodded.

"And why do you need me?"

Treize spoke up this time. "Your particular talents would be very useful. That, and the fact that you have many contacts in the human world. Also, you are free to move about as most of us are not."

"Oh, that reminds me. According to Wufei here, he and Trowa are shape-shifters. As for the rest of you, I didn't ask. But you," Duo looked at Heero, "and Quatre, well, I did ask. Guess what he said?" He paused for a second. "That I had to ask you directly. And now, I'm asking."

Heero sat back in his chair, still making no sound. "Everyone, out. Quatre, you stay. Trowa may also. The rest of you, leave."

Relena looked angry, but she filed out with everyone else. When Wufei made a move to leave, Duo put a restraining hand on his shoulder.

"Don't move, Wu. You're staying with me."

Heero's eyes flashed angry, even as his face and voice remained calm. "I said, everyone out."

"Too bad. Wufei's mine, so he stays. I'm his master now, not you."

"Master? Who said you were his master, Duo?" Quatre asked, his blue eyes narrowing.

"He did." Duo nodded down at Wufei, who started to look nervous. Duo tightened his grip on his shoulder in an effort to calm him.

"Is that true, Wufei? Did you acknowledge him as your master? A human master . . .?" Heero's voice sent chills down Duo's spine.

Wufei shook under Duo's hand. "Yes. He took me. But not before he watched me change. He greeted me as a master would . . . he . . . my wrist . . . ."

"Did he?" Heero was as still as a statue in his chair, only his moving mouth betraying the illusion. "And how did he know to do that?"

Duo felt again how severely out of place he was. "I didn't know. I just did it. And now he belongs to me."

"Dammit, Duo," Quatre said ruefully, "you always know just what to do to cause trouble don't you?"

"It's a talent," he replied. "From what I gather, this is a direct challenge to your authority." Duo addressed Heero this time.

"Yes, it is."

"Good enough then. Before we attempt to kill each other over this little matter, mind answering one question?"

"Which is?"

"What the hell are you?"

on to part four

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